Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We have seen that the believers’ relationship in life with God is unbreakable, but their fellowship with Him can be broken. This means that our life relationship with God is unconditional, whereas our fellowship with God is conditional. The first condition of the divine fellowship is that of confessing sins (1:5—2:22). Related to this first condition are the matters of abiding in God as light, walking in the divine light, and practicing the divine truth. In this message we shall go on to consider the cleansing of the blood of Jesus, the Son of God.
In 1:7 the apostle John says, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” In this verse we see that we walk in the light, but God is in the light, because He is light. When we walk in the light, which is God Himself, we have the co-enjoyment of the Triune God and the co-participation in His purpose.
When we live in the divine life, we are under its enlightenment, and it exposes, according to God’s divine nature and through His nature in us, all our sin, trespasses, failures, and defects, which contradict His pure light, perfect love, absolute holiness, and excelling righteousness. At such a time we sense in our enlightened conscience the need of the cleansing of the redeeming blood of the Lord Jesus, and it cleanses us in our conscience from all sins so that our fellowship with God and with one another may be maintained. Our relationship with God is unbreakable, yet our fellowship with Him may be broken. The former is of life, whereas the latter is based upon our living, though it is also of life. One is unconditional; the other is conditional. This conditional one, our fellowship with God, needs to be maintained by the constant cleansing of the Lord’s blood.
In verse 7 John says that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. The tense of the verb “cleanses” in Greek is present and continuous. This indicates that the blood of Jesus the Son of God cleanses us all the time, continuously and constantly. Cleansing here refers to the instant cleansing of the Lord’s blood in our conscience. Before God, the redeeming blood of the Lord has cleansed us once for all eternally (Heb. 9:12, 14), and the efficacy of that cleansing lasts forever before God, needing no repetition. However, in our conscience we need the instant application of the constant cleansing of the Lord’s blood again and again whenever our conscience is enlightened by the divine light in our fellowship with God. This instant cleansing is typified by the purification of the ashes of the heifer for a water of separation (Num. 19:2-10).
In verse 7 John specifically says that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. The New Testament speaks of sin and also of sins. “Sin” usually refers to indwelling sin, which is dealt with in Romans 5:12 to 8:13. “Sins” refer to sinful deeds, the fruits of indwelling sin, which are dealt with in Romans 1:18 to 5:11. However, the singular sin in 1:7 with the adjective “all” does not denote indwelling sin; rather, it denotes every single sin we have committed since we have been regenerated. The sins we commit after regeneration defile our purged conscience and need to be cleansed away by the blood of Jesus in our fellowship with God.
When we are in the divine fellowship, we are in the light, and when we are in the light, we are exposed by the light. The divine light is much stronger than an x-ray. This light exposes whatever is wrong in our being. As we walk in the light and practice the reality in the light, the light shines within us, upon us, and through us. Exposed by this shining, we realize that we are wrong in many matters. We may see that we are wrong in our thoughts, emotions, motives, and intentions. We may also see that we are wrong with certain brothers and sisters. Because we are exposed in this way, our conscience is condemned. In order to deal with this condemnation in our conscience, we need the cleansing of the Lord’s blood. It is when we are in the fellowship and under the light that we see our failures, mistakes, wrongdoings, impure motives, and evil intentions. But at this very juncture, the blood of the Lord Jesus cleanses us from every sin. As we have pointed out, the tense of the Greek verb rendered “cleanses” indicates that, when we walk in the light and are in fellowship with God and with one another, the blood of Jesus cleanses us constantly, unceasingly.
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